1. Make copies of your passport details, insurance policy, travellers checks, visas and credit card numbers. Carry one copy in a separate place to the originals and leave a copy with someone at home.
2. Check with health professionals for information on recommended vaccinations or other precautions and find out about overseas laws on travelling with medicines. Make sure that you have full travel insurance.
3. Leave a copy of your travel itinerary with someone at home and keep in regular contact with friends and relatives while overseas.
4. Check one of the international government website before you leave to make sure your destination is safe to travel. The UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office site is particularly useful (www.fco.gov.uk) or try the CIA World Fact Book ( www.cia.gov ).
Once you’ve made sure you’re good to go, here are some tours we recommend…
BANGLADESH ECOTOURS +88-001-8931-8345 www.bangladeshecotours.com
As well as typical eco-activities, Bangladesh Ecotours organizes home-stays with local tribes for travelers to experience Bangladeshi culture first hand. Tours range from beach and offshore to hill tract and tribal and rainforest to suburban tours. Prices are US$75-$120 per person, per day.
BORNEO ECO TOURS +60-88-438300 www.borneoecotours.com
Based in Sabah, Malaysia, award-winning travel agent Borneo Eco Tours offers nature-based tours such as botanical and bird watching, jungle trekking and journeys through tropical rainforest. Tours vary from three hours to 14 days of jungle getaway. It also operates a 2o-room eco-lodge supported by sustainable energy sources, such as rainwater and solar energy.
CHINA ADVENTURE TRAVEL +86-10-6498-1901 www.adventuretravel.cn
Based in Beijing, China Adventure Travel can organize everything from wildlife, eco-adventure and study tours to more classic tours hitting China’s travel hotspots. Eco-tours to Mongolia, Tibet, and yak-back trekking along the Silk Road all feature. All tours are guided in English.
ECOLOGY TOURS EXPERIENCE 802, Koon Fook Centre, No.9 Knutsford Terrace, Tsim Sha Tsui +65-2369-1866 www.ecotours.com.hk
Ecology Tours Experience operates eco tours around Hong Kong. Visit the Wetland Park, experience a white-dolphin encounter, bird watching and a host of others are available. Choose a tour guide in German, French or English.
ECOTOUR +99-67-7280-2805 www.ecotour.kg
Little-known Kyrgyzstan, in Central Asia, is home to the second-highest mountain lake in the world, lssyk-Kul. Ecotour will arrange activities such as trekking, horseback riding and bicycle riding in this mountainous setting. Tours are for ten people maximum for an intimate experience.
MOUNTAIN DELIGHTS TREKS & EXPEDITIONS + 97-7-1470-0190 www.trekksnepal.com
This agency specializes in eco-friendly trekking in Nepal, promising visitors an authentic Nepali experience. Activities include visiting and staying at local villages, trekking along the magnificent Langtang, Annapurna and Everest traits, and exploring the least explored areas of Nepal’s Himalayas. Female tour guides are available on request.
NATURE BOUND HOLIDAYS & TOURS + 91-22-2878-8656 www.natureboundindia.com
Nature Bound offers quality eco tourism around India. Whether it’s Kerala, Kashmir, Goa or anywhere else you want to visit in India, it has an eco-friendly solution for you. Encouraging tourists to preserve the natural resources is part of the program as well as providing an unforgettable holiday.
PADDLEASIA +66 76 216145 www.thaiwildorchids.com
PaddleAsia specializes in eco-tours in one of the world’s most popular spots, Phuket, Thailand. As the name suggests, most PaddleAsia tours involve paddling a canoe, an eco-friendly way to experience the waters, islands and hidden lagoons at Phang Nga Bay and Khao Sak national Park. Also arranges cycling and mountain biking trips, wildlife spotting, mountain climbing and rafting.
RAINFOREST RETREAT HOLIDAYS +91-82-7226-5638 www.rainforestours.com
The Rainforest Retreat is located in Karnataka, India’s rainforest. An eco-retreat includes a visit to a tropical evergreen forest, an organic spice plantation and trip to the sacred Cavery River. There are two types of accommodation available on site, both equipped with solar lighting, bathtub and hot water, but don’t expect televisions or telephones in any of the rooms. Customized tours are also available.
TREE TOPS JUNGLE LODGE (above) www.treetopsjungletodge.com
Tree Top jungle Lodge in Wellara, Sri Lanka, offers a true jungle experience, very different from a safari park or zoo. Its tree houses and wood huts blend into the forest, which is home to wild elephants and 161 bird species. Travelers will bathe in the freshwater well, there is no electricity and all meals are cooked on a wood fire in the native style.